INTRODUCTION: AN IMAGINARY CONVERSATION
(With apologies to Landor)
Scene: A group of 16 skeptics interested in the psychological typology developed by a seminal figure in twentieth century thought, Carl Gustav Jung, gathers together. They are all doubtful about the appearance of yet another book on the subject (this time an electronic monster of well over 2,500 pages) by a professional musician and academic. They have questions for the perpetrator, one G. Campbell (Cam) Trowsdale, a violinist and educator by profession, who has agreed to meet with them. He’s prepared to answer one question or respond to one observation from each. A transcript of their conversation follows:
Skeptic 1: I’ve taken a look at your biography. Seems to me that any expertise you may have lies in your experience as a professional violinist and an academic interested in such matters as music conservatories and publicly funded schools for the performing arts. Yet out of nowhere comes The Mandala Typology Of C.G. Jung. Let me put it bluntly: just what is your background in Jungian psychology, if any?
Cam: If you want academic degrees or certification that relate specifically to Jungian studies I don’t have any. But. My contact with Jungian ideas began with the Swiss father of a violin student I was teaching almost 60 years ago. On his recommendation, I ordered what was then available of Jung’s writing in English translation. It was tough going but I made copious notes and filled one loose leaf binder after another. I kept on reading and as Jung’s Collected Works appeared I bought each volume as it came out. When I had time, I read them.
Now. Fast forward to 1986. It’s mid-life (crisis?) time. I’d known for a long time that if I ever got jammed up there was a place to which I could turn: Jungian analysis. I was fortunate because Vancouver had Dr. Clare Buckland, an outstanding analyst. I began work with her over the course of the next five years, completing just over 200 hours of analysis. When she started the first Vancouver Jung Intensive Study Group in 1988 as a seminar for analysands, some of whom were considering applying for candidacy in a Jungian training program, she invited me to join. I was the token arts person in a group composed mainly of doctors, therapists, and social workers. The objective of the Study Group was to work through the 18 text volumes of the Collected Works as initial preparation for those interested in becoming certificated Jungian analysts.
Skeptic 2: That’s all very well but you’re talking about the entire trajectory of Jung’s life work. Where does his typology come into the picture?
Cam: As part of our work in the seminar, the participants had to prepare each year at least one major paper on a major component in Jung’s psychology. For example, I gave presentations on such topics as transference/counter-transference and projection. My first contact with Jung’s typology came when we arrived at volume 6 of the Collected Works. This was midway through those 18 rather thick volumes — around 1990. A business consultant who used the Myers Briggs Type Inventory in his professional work made a presentation to the seminar. I was reasonably satisfied after hearing him that I could use the typological model developed by Katherine Briggs and Isabel Myers as an acceptable substitute for the one developed by Jung. After all, those authors claimed that they had “operationalized” Jung’s theoretical framework. And it was much more approachable. I thought I could justifiably replace Psychological Types with Isabel Myers’ Gifts Differing.
In fact, my copy of Psychological Types sat pristine and unopened on my bookshelf at the time. Then, I started feeling guilty. I should read at least part of it before setting it aside in favor of Briggs and Myers. My initial reaction to volume 6 was that it looked formidably large and when I actually started reading, I found the going very difficult. I decided that perhaps Chapter 10 would give me what I needed so I read chapter 10 which describes the types, even though again I found it tough sledding. Chapter 11 came next and here my reading was a quick skim since it was essentially a dictionary rather than a connected narrative.
At this point, I had sort of read chapters 10 and 11 of Types, and leafed through its 555 pages of text in 987 numbered paragraphs of pictureless print with a certain feeling of fatigue. My contact with Volume 6 remained minimal. There it sat on the shelf — no underlinings, no margin questions, no dog-eared pages — even the paperback spine as yet had no creases.
I questioned the use of all the historical material and its relevance. Why didn’t Jung just present his hypotheses as clearly as possible and, to use a habitual reaction from an extraverted sensation friend, "get on with it". Was it really necessary to read all of this closely packed prose, page after page for hour after hour.
I was quite frustrated with Volume 6 and put it aside. After all, there was the MBTI Manual and Isabel Meyers Gifts Differing even if they didn't handle the complete story. And there were the lectures on The Inferior Function by one of the leading practitioners and theorists in the global Jungian community, Marie-Louise von Franz. Perhaps this was all I needed.
Then I came across a paper entitled "Psychological Types in the Analysis of the Transference" by the Seattle analyst, Jess Groesbeck. The writing was clear, the case applications relevant, the diagrams helpful and the absence of jargon appreciated. Groesbeck made a rather astounding claim:
It is possible that the theory of psychological types is one of the most important, yet one of the most neglected, areas of analytical psychology.
I procrastinate easily and although I was quite excited about Groesbeck and what he was suggesting about types, I didn't act immediately. It stayed in my mind, however, and since I was doing a fair amount of travelling at the time, I decided that instead of carrying a portable library with me, why not take Types and have a real go at it. If nothing else it would reduce my baggage weight by at least ten pounds.
This was a good move. I started reading Types seriously with the editors' introduction, the prefaces that were worth preserving from the various editions that have appeared since 1921, and chapter one. This was where I got hooked. Fortunately for me and my subsequent love affair with Types I have always been interested in history. Mind you, the prospect of reading historical material from the early Christian Church was not high on my list of priorities but the early church fathers, Tertullian and Origen, caught my attention and haven't let go since.
I found chapter one initially very difficult to read and this was my subsequent experience as I literally inched my way through the book from cover to cover. I admit I was as frustrated as I’ve ever been on reading a book. It was embarrassing to realize I had only understood perhaps 10% of what I’d read. So I was frustrated. Really frustrated. But. I was also excited at the range of ideas I so imperfectly understood. It was akin to the stimulation that the Argentinean author and publisher, Victoria Ocampo, felt when she first read what later became Jung’s Volume 6:
I confess that...Psychological Types stirred me as deeply as the Brothers Karamazov.
The range of ideas, speculations, and interpretations of the broad sweep of history and civilizations integrated with major personalities about whom I knew very little along with other major figures I had studied years earlier but now approached from an entirely different viewpoint turned the venture of actually reading Types into a major challenge: a challenge of the same order I had found in that great wreck of modern literature, The Cantos of Ezra Pound.
I tried different ways of approaching the material by experimenting with chapter one. I went through it, for example, just for my own amazement, looking at what I call "large type ideas". I was staggered by what I came up with. Regardless of agreement or disagreement with the particulars, here was a mind capable of developing hypotheses that built a world view with implications in every area of human activity. I then did a paragraph by paragraph analysis and summary to see if I could distil the essential material down into a compact statement of several pages or so. I looked up supplementary material about figures Jung introduced me to like Scotus Erigena and Radbertus. Fortunately, I was at the meeting when the group determined the allocation of topics for the following year. There was no question in my mind as to what I wanted to work on: typology.
Skeptic 3: I don’t understand. You were frustrated and annoyed after reading Psychological Types and you understood very little of what Jung was saying about a typology based on his insight into the dynamics of the human psyche. Then you started reading it seriously. But that doesn’t begin to explain how 16 years later you come out with a huge annotated bibliography. Help me understand.
Cam: Well, first of all, what I found was a treasure trove of concepts and ideas about how Jung had developed his model of typology through his encyclopaedic reading and knowledge of such disparate fields as poetry, art criticism, neurological research, psychiatry, and early Christian church history. It’s not rocket science to understand that when the time came to choose a seminar topic, I asked for typology even though it had already received attention. The result was a paper which I entitled, “My Rocky Road To Typological Enlightenment Or How I Came To Love C.G. Jung’s Psychological Types.” It was well received by the group and Dr. Buckland arranged for its presentation as a lecture for the Vancouver Jung Society which, incidentally, she had founded.
Skeptic 4: Fine, but we still don’t have the faintest idea of how this bibliography of yours emerged.
Cam: Well, when I made my initial presentation to the seminar, it turned out that there was something missing. I had not included a bibliography of the available literature. The group members wanted one. Thinking this would be a simple matter I said I’d prepare one.
As it turned out, it wasn’t straight forward at all. Important references were scattered far and wide. For example, there was no one source for all of the papers by a major figure in American analytical psychology, Dr. Joseph Wheelwright, and his colleague, Dr. Horace Gray. It took me several years to find an excellent bibliography by Dr. James Arraj in Tracking The Elusive Human, Volume 2: An Advanced Guide To The Typological Worlds Of C.G. Jung, W.H. Sheldon, Their Integration, And The Biochemical Typology Of The Future, which he had published by himself and which provided an important contribution to the literature. The “numinal accent” or focus of the Arraj bibliography, however, (to use a term favoured by Jung), fell equally on both Sheldon and Jung with space considerations coming into play.
I then came across the Compendium Of Research Involving the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator published by the Center for the Applications of Psychological Type in Gainesville, Florida. It did include some specifically Jungian materials but its focus was directed to the literature which had emerged from applications of the MBTI model in a wide range of fields. From my perspective there was no single source to which a Jungian candidate in training could turn and quickly develop the necessary background in the literature directly relevant to Jung’s typological model and, more generally, to the derivative models which began appearing in the 1940s. I decided to work on my own bibliography.
Skeptic 5: When did you begin work on a bibliography which focussed on what you imply is a classic Jungian typology as differentiated from later models such as the MBTI and what made you decide to do annotations??
Cam: I started right after my initial presentation to the seminar in 1993. As for the annotations, I’ve had reservations about bibliographic entries at the end of research papers for some time. They look good but there’s often a question as to whether the study’s author has actually read the references included. I was also concerned that a paper or a book which took a substantial chunk out of an author’s life was usually referred to as a citation number without any flavour of personality or writing style. So I decided that I would read every paper and book I included in the bibliography with one exception: doctoral dissertations. For the most part, I read only abstracts, but there were important exceptions on which I spent considerable time, thanks to my university’s Inter-Library Loan department.
Once I got started, I found that the stimulation which accompanied the process of search, find, read, and digest for a written commentary created a sense of both energy and satisfaction that was continuously rewarding year after year.
Skeptic 6: You started the bibliography in 1993 but it’s only now you’re making it available? Why did it take you so long?
Cam: There are many reasons but mostly it had to do with fitting the research into an already full schedule and the simple fact that I kept finding more material. The project simply grew and grew while I was still performing and consulting which meant that time became available only in bits and pieces.
Skeptic 7: Did you try to get it published?
Cam: This was my original intent and I did a hard copy printout in 1996. The project was already large but still manageable. As the years passed, however, as more material accumulated and the bibliography grew, it became apparent that I could not hope for a traditional publication. While I haven’t counted every page, I suspect the total is well over the 2,500 mark. Fortunately, computer hardware, storage media and software that allowed documents to be accessed on any platform evolved to the point where a huge quantity of data could be stored on a single compact disk. With the development of PDF (Portable Data Format) engines by Adobe and Word Perfect and the appearance of a storage medium that could hold 700 megabytes of data on a single disk, my monster could be readily caged with 600 megabytes to spare. When I brought the project to a halt last year, I had completed 749 documents which range in size from one to over 100 pages.
Skeptic 8. That’s a huge amount of data. How is it organized?
Cam: Let me start with a map of the project, followed by a more detailed breakdown of its basic structure.
With such a mass of material to encompass, it became evident that some form of skeleton key might be useful to assist orientation within the project as a whole. As an aid to navigation, therefore, a “map” is provided at the beginning of each chapter as in the following illustration. It places the current chapter in the overall schema with a red border and with enlarged lettering in an enlarged table cell.
The organizational plan consists of 16 chapters, divided into 4 parts.
The sixteen chapters range from Jung's theories to
Chapter sections provide a bibliography or bibliographies, a list of my commentaries where these have been completed, and Adobe Reader bookmarks. No category system is completely satisfactory. Overlap was a continuing problem and decisions concerning where to place a given item were sometimes completely arbitrary.
Skeptic 9: But how can you find anything in such a mass of data?
Cam: Good question. That was certainly a problem in the hard copy printout even with detailed indexing. Once I decided that the only possible way to make this material available was through electronic media, retrieval remained a problem. I solved this through the use of Adobe Acrobat. Why this particular software? For starters, the Adobe Acrobat Reader required to read PDF files can be downloaded from the Adobe website free of charge. (I should point out that although Acrobat Reader 7.0 is now out, it can’t be used with any Windows system prior to Windows XP. The 6.0 version of the Reader, which continues to be available for download and works up to Windows 98SE.) Fortunately, Acrobat Reader provides an excellent search capability which can turn word processing documents into a rudimentary database.
Skeptic 10: Do you explain how this works?
Cam: Yes. I discuss this in the project introduction and provide a guide at the beginning of each chapter. All commentary documents are identified by author surname, chapter, section, and year published. For example:
The author is Abramson and complete bibliographic details will be found in Chapter 6 (Applications), sub-section 6.17 (Management Science, Consulting, and Work). The paper was published in 1993.
Skeptic 11: Weren’t you concerned about the dangers of abstracting one of Jung’s hypotheses from the totality of his psychology?
Cam: Yes and no. Certainly there’s danger in taking a single idea out of the conceptual context in which it resides. Yet removing the typology, a major colour in the fabric of Jung’s psychology, for study purposes is useful. The problem is how to access the value of abstraction while avoiding its dangers. The answer lies in linkage. That is, whatever the specifics of typological applications or theoretical considerations, Jung’s typology can be understood in depth only in relation to the other central concepts of his psychology.
Skeptic 12: I don’t understand. Can you give me an example of this linkage?
Cam: Sure. One of Jung’s most important concepts is that which he called the individuation process. This is the combination of psychic processes by which, with luck, work, and good management, one becomes more ever more conscious during one’s life with the goal, not of perfection but of wholeness through the raising of the functions and attitudes of the typology to consciousness, as least as far as this is possible . Although this linkage of Jung’s typology to the individuation process is often ignored or overlooked, it is essential to understanding the psychology. Another illustration can be drawn using Jung’s concept of the shadow which each of us carries within our personality matrix. The essential linkage here is the connection of the shadow to the inferior function of the typology. This connection, incidentally, played no role in MBTI theory until the appearance of Naomi Quenk’s Beside Ourselves, over thirty years after the appearance of the MBTI as an instrument intended to assess personality type.
Skeptic 13: OK. Your main interest is in the psychological typology of Jung. But there are at least 57 varieties of typological model out there. Do you include any of those in your bibliography?
Cam: Yes. Just as I found that I had to include material which dealt with the MBTI model, particularly when senior Jungian analysts like John Beebe accepted some of its concepts, I decided to do a sampling of other typologies, some of which derived in partial measure from Jung’s original and others which had no connection at all like the Enneagram or the typologies of India and medieval Europe. There’s a chapter which provides a sampling of various models of current interest.
Skeptic 14: Do you restrict your bibliography to printed materials?
Cam: No. I’ve already mentioned doctoral dissertations, most of which are unpublished. There are hundreds which relate in some way, however tangential, to Jung’s typology and there is a chapter in the bibliography which collects these with key words added to assist in an initial search. Commentaries on master’s and doctoral theses, however, are limited to those which caught my eye. Audio and audio-visual materials, such as John Beebe’s new model of psychological types, are included.
Then, mid-way through the project, I realized that I had to deal with the resources accumulating on the internet. Although the average duration of web material is about six months, I decided to collect those sites which were available as of 2003. Here, however, I cast my net widely and included all sites I identified as concerned with typology. Since there are hundreds of these included in the final chapter of the bibliography, I also selected what I considered to be the most important 15 sites and then expanded that to include my pick of the top 50 sites.
Skeptic 15: Although you originally considered the MBTI as an alternative to Jung’s typology, I gather that you no longer regard it as identical with that of Jung. Yet you have included MBTI materials in your bibliography. Surely this leads to substantial overlap with the CAPT’s Compendium?
Cam: Some overlap could not be avoided, and given the insistence by the MBTI community that their model derives directly from Jung, I initially found it necessary to include a sampling of the MBTI literature. I then came to realize that the activity of the CAPT has become a centre of energy in bringing typological concepts and their application to a wide audience. I’ve included a reader’s guide to their publications and conferences in my introductory chapter. Specific references, however, are limited since the entire MBTI database is available at:
Skeptic 16: Thirteen years is a long time to spend on a bibliography which deals with only one component in Jung’s psychology. Can you account for how your interest in the project was sustained?
Cam: I think so. In spite of all my prior reading and study of Jung, much of the time I felt as if I were skating around on the surface of his psychology. My immersion in Psychological Types and the literature which it generated after 1921 resolved that problem. Mind you, the analytical work was essential, but I discovered that understanding the typology, not as a system of pigeon-holes but as a dynamic system of interacting energies provided me with a key to approaching Jung’s other major concepts. In fact:
I found that
the typology acted as a
Visit www.mandalatypology.com to find out more about Cam's bibliographic project.